Highlights 2005

University Corporation for Atmospheric ResearchNational Center for Atmospheric ResearchUCAR Office of Programs

Highlights is the biennial overview of the activities of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and its two major components, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the UCAR Office of Programs (UOP). Highlights is published by UCAR Communications. This edition of Highlights covers our accomplishments from 2003 and 2004 as well as upcoming activities.

~ Acknowledgments | PDFs ~

who we are     introduction     ucar goals      ucar at a glance

Winter's WallopWinter's Wallop

Scientists at NCAR and their colleagues elsewhere are at work on warning and detection systems to help keep the wheels of transport moving, even when snow and ice threaten. Meanwhile, basic research is painting a clearer picture of how weather’s usual ebb and flow crystallizes into patterns that can persist for much of a winter—and how those might evolve in a changing climate.

Clear and Bright Clear and Bright

Because of our increasing reliance on satellite-driven technology and far-flung power grids, the Sun and its magnetism can wreak havoc on society in a matter of hours. New computer models and observing tools developed at NCAR are sharpening scientists’ views of the vast forces shaping magnetism on and above the Sun’s surface. These tools also help point the way toward prediction of solar storms, as well as the strength and timing of the Sun’s 11-year cycle.

Minute by MinuteMinute by Minute

Whether stationed on a lonely Midwest road or a deserted Atlantic beach, NCAR scientists and engineers train high-tech sensors on tornadoes, hurricanes, and severe thunderstorms in some of meteorology’s most intrepid research. Back at the lab, their data reveal new threads of similarity among many types of wild weather. Software experts at NCAR and elsewhere use these leads, plus innovative statistical techniques, to refine new models that help give forecasters and the public better guidance on weather at its worst.

Prognosticators at WorkPrognosticators at work

Peering into the future of the atmosphere is hard work, whether you’re doing so as a professional forecaster or a student. Through on-site classes and workshops, distance learning tools, and a school-based observing program—all drawing on NCAR, UOP, and university expertise—UCAR helps educators, learners, and working forecasters better understand the weather and today’s tools for predicting it.

Sharing Our World's AirSharing our World's Air

Atmospheric chemists have long recognized that air pollution can generate impacts far from its source. New satellite-borne instruments and software—both operating on a global scale—now map in unprecedented detail where pollutants emerge and where they travel. Several field studies are fleshing out this worldwide portrait through ground-based and airborne measurements with astounding speed and detail.

The Century After TomorrowThe Century After Tomorrow

Will our planet's climate a few decades from now look familiar, or will it seem more like a threatening stranger? How quickly might New York City's climate turn into something resembling Washington's? Policy makers and the public need answers as they look for affordable and effective ways to address global climate change. In response, climate scientists at NCAR continue to refine their portraits of our past, present, and future atmosphere, using some of the world's most powerful computers.

UCAR at a glance UCAR goals Introduction Who we are The century after tomorrow Sharing our world's air Prognosticators at work Minute by minute Clear and bright Winter's wallop